Valentine’s Day for One

Shani gives her Valentine's Day experience as a single woman

By Shani Petroff

I love love. But Valentine’s Day can be hard when you don’t have a significant other. For me, it seems everywhere I look there are advertisements about how to spend February 14, conversations about what to buy the love of your life, and a lot of talk about how amazing coupledom is. So in the spirit of not turning into a cliché — you know, where the single girl sits home and cries into a gallon of ice cream and rips into a heart-shaped box of candy — I’ve come up with ideas for Valentine’s Day that don’t involve me eating my emotions.

Girls’ Day. My best friend is happily married with kids, but we both have Valentine’s Day off from work, so we’re talking about checking out a fun, cheesy movie during the day — and inviting along any other friends who happen to be free. Love comes in many forms — it doesn’t just have to be the romantic kind. I may still be searching for ‘the one,’ but in the meantime, I’m very lucky to have the love of my family and friends. When I get down in the dumps, I try to remember that!

Buy My Own Flowers. Who says I need a guy to buy me roses? Sure it’s nice, but that doesn’t appear to be in the cards this year, so…no big deal! There’s nothing stopping me from getting them myself! In fact, as a little Valentine’s gift to myself, I’m stopping by the bodega near my apartment and picking some up.

It’s Just Another Day. The truth is this February 14 is just another Tuesday. The greeting-card companies, along with many others, want us to feel differently, and yes, I often buy into the hype, but honestly it’s not that big a deal. In fact, the very next day, chocolate, flowers, and prix-fixe meals are all significantly cheaper. So, I like to remind myself that by skipping out on most V-day traditions, I’m avoiding a huge advertising trap created by corporations to play off of our emotions, guilt, and desire to keep up with the Joneses. J (Although don’t get me wrong, when I’m part of a couple, I’m a total sucker for the whole thing, and go all in — hook, line, and sinker.)

Spread the Love. This part is twofold. First to myself: I’m going to think positive thoughts. I’m going to smile when I look in the mirror. I’m going to know I’m worthy of love. Our thoughts turn into actions. And thinking negative things like I wouldn’t be alone if I was thinner or why would he like me? is not only dumb, but also will hurt my confidence, when I need to boost it! The second part is spreading the love to others. I’m not the only one who feels like they’re missing out on Valentine’s Day. So I’m going to make sure to smile at everyone I see, I’m going to be kind (even if someone else is rude), really listen to the answer when I ask “how are you?” and be there for those I care about. We never know what someone else is going through — even the ones who seem to have it all — so a little extra kindness could go a long way (and not just on February 14). And you might even find smiling is contagious. The more you do it, the happier you may actually feel!

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